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I remember it like yesterday: My husband and I got our son his first scooter, a classic Radio Flyer that had all the elegance and speed of a genteel sloth. It was scarlet and stable, and perfect for a toddler who was just learning to stay upright and remain balanced. He got his bearings, and slowly began riding it around our living room. And boy, did he love it.
Then, he graduated to a faster scooter, for three-year-olds. And onward it went. To this day, he prefers to scoot wherever he goes. Now that he’s a very tall seven-year-old, I’ve just upgraded him to a scooter that’s as lean as he is.
My son is fearless, rounding corners, jumping curbs and zig-zagging to avoid pesky pedestrians. Don’t worry, parent police: he always wears a helmet. There have been falls and scrapes galore, but his need for speed always prevails.
Here’s our journey through the scooter landscape, and the ones that worked for us (and various kids we know).
1. Radio Flyer Lean 'N Glide Scooter with Light Up Wheels, $40, Amazon
Because it's sturdy and slow, this is a great beginner scooter for your little ones, ages three and up. My son had this one and rode it around the apartment just to get a feel for it.
2. Micro Kickboard MM0283 Micro Mini Kick Scooter, $80, Amazon
Get it at Walmart as well.
This one gives your toddlers a very smooth ride, and is a solid gateway towards the tougher designs. This was also my son's first "serious" scooter.
3. Razor Jr. Folding Kiddie Kick Scooter, $37, Amazon
It's also sold at Walmart.
The two back wheels give your kid a nice sense of confidence.
Editor's note: Don't forget to wear a helmets that say they're CPSC-compliant and thus meet the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission bicycle helmet standard; you can wear a CPSC-compliant bicycle helmet while cycling, in-line skating and riding a scooter), and get safety pads for elbows and knees if you're especially worried about falls. Yes, a cool-looking helmet appeals to kids, but parents, read the fine print. Craftsmanship trumps glitter and superhero insignia.
4. Micro Kickboard Maxi Kick Scooter, $130, Amazon
Target sells this as well.
Once your kid has his or her bearings and a sense of balance, this is your next choice. We've had ours for five years and it's still going strong. And it's just fast enough to give you the heebeejeebees but also grounded enough to make your kid feel totally in control.
5. Razor A5 Lux Kick Scooter, $80, Amazon
Walmart has this as well.
This one is trickier to ride, and requires upper-body and core control because of the narrow base. So, let him or her practice on an easier model first.
6. AODI 3 Wheels Scooter Swing Motion Speeder Foldable Kickboard Scooter, $94, Amazon
This one is super-fast, and you just twist to turn it and have it change direction. Best of all, each wheel has a brake. And it works for adults as well.
7. Fuzion Z250 Pro Trick Scooter, $100, Amazon
Bring the Band-Aids, parents. This scooter is made for doing tricks, and is geared for kids eight and older.
8. Razor Pocket Mod, $245, Amazon
Office Depot sells the pink version.
Let's say your kid really, really doesn't want to break a sweat. Here's a very cute retro electric model that has a 10-mile range on a single charge.